It’s that time of year again when we take to our backyards, pull out the lawn games, and fire up the grill. Planning for a summer barbecue? Things may look a little different this year, and gatherings may be smaller than before, but we can still embrace one of America’s favorite pastimes – a summer barbecue!
Being health-conscious is extra-important this year, and that includes your smile. Not every barbecue favorite is in your best interest. As you’re deciding on a menu and setting your picnic tables, consider making some of these tooth-friendly changes.
Choose Smart Crunchy Foods
Potato chips are often a staple at a summer barbecue, but they’re not the best choice for your health, or your teeth. Skip the chips and go for fruits and veggies.
Pears, apples, celery, carrots, and broccoli provide a satisfying crunch but are so much better for your health. Of course, they’re loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals, but they can do wonders for your teeth as well. Crunchy fruits and veggies help clean your teeth and promote saliva product to wash away debris.
Say Yes to Cheese
Turn up the taste factor with some cheese this summer. Melt it on a burger or serve a variety of cheese on a platter to appease your guests…and their smiles! Cheese is low in sugar but rich in calcium and phosphorus, so it strengthens and protects enamel. It may also lower your risk of developing gum disease.
Opt for Seedless Foods
How many times have you struggled to pry a berry seed or poppy seed from your teeth? It’s an issue that you can easily avoid by choosing seedless buns and picking those crunchy fruits over berries. You can even serve seedless watermelon, so you don’t miss out on the seasonal favorite.
Don’t Cube It, Crush It
If you serve ice cubes in your drinks, they’re far too tempting to chomp. However, chewing ice cubes can damage teeth, and you don’t want a dental emergency to derail your barbecue. Store bottles and cans in tubs of ice instead of serving in cups. If you have to use glasses, opt for crushed ice to cool beverages.
The Trouble with Toothpicks
Inevitably, some barbecue classics stick between teeth, and it’s common practice to reach for a toothpick. However, toothpicks are sharp enough to injure gums and splinters can break off to wreak havoc on your mouth. Instead, provide dental picks or soft, flexible plaque removers for your guests to clean their pearly whites.
Bonus tip: Keep sugarless gum on hand. It’s an alternative to toothpicks and mints that will make your guests smile.
Protect Your Smile
Watching what you eat and drink is an important part of a good oral care routine. The best thing that you can do to keep a healthy smile is to follow up regularly with your dentist, so they can help you stay healthy.
If you’re in need of a check-up and professional teeth cleaning, we’re here for you! Find the Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics clinic nearest you and make an appointment online.